Friday, November 29, 2019

Foley Take Exception to the New Way a Dog's Age is Calculated

 I read another study by people who know nothing about dogs but pretend they are experts. This one had the most scurrilous claims ever made against nature's most perfect creature.  The report pontificates that dog's age much faster than people realize. In fact, when dogs turn two, they are actually 40 in human years.

I know why these researchers have advanced this convoluted argument.  Humans have a completely different view of aging than dogs do. We don't pay any attention to the calendar.  Worrying about time passing is wasting time, and we don't have time for that.

Humans mark off each day like they are completing a prison sentence.  Dogs only measure time by meals. We consider the space between eating as an entire day, especially since we spend so much time sleeping.  When we bother our parents to feed us, we are telling them the alarm didn't go off, and they are LATE. We are worried about their missing work or an appointment.  It's not that we are just hungry. Honest. We aren’t obsessed with eating. We wish to keep you on schedule.  

Every person has rejoiced in watching a two-year-old dog play.  We are so full of life and energy. So, when they turn 40, people keep themselves from thinking they are aging by saying, “how can we become old, we are the same age as that spunky little dog?”  Ratcheting up our age so that humans can feel better about themselves is just wrong.

 I have discovered an addendum to the research that states when we turn three; we are considered to be 50 in human years.  We are not yet elderly, but we are putting some kibble away for retirement, checking out property in Florida, and if we are intact, asking our vet about a little blue pill that will help us keep up with those one-year-old bitches.

According to the study, when we are four, we are 72.  After that, we start aging one year at a time.  

Humans should adjust their ages, so they are in line with the traditional way that dog years are calculated:  Baby, child, adult, middle-aged, and crap shot— the five ages of man. It will save on you having to buy a new present every year, attending office birthday parties, and leaving with unwanted calories and a sugar rush headache.

Age would not be measured by date, but by accomplishment, when a baby becomes toilet trained, they are now a child. When they move out and start paying rent or mortgage, they become an adult  (if they fail and move back home this period is known as a second childhood, and there is no party when they run out again.). When the final child moves away, or the last bit of hair turns gray, middle-aged is reached.  When you lose your car keys for the tenth time or pee in your pants more than just a little, it's a crapshoot.

While the last two events are dispiriting, at least as the unfortunate events unfold, people can look forward to a party and presents afterward. Be wary of Grandpa peeing himself just for the party.

So remember good people as another year hurdles to a finish you are not another year older you are just closer to crapshoots.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Pocket Recounts Her Parents' Thanksgiving from Long Ago

Happy Thanksgiving, my friends. 

This is my lucky thirteenth turkey day, and with each one, I find more reasons to be thankful.

When I was a young pup, Foley and I hosted Thanksgiving at our house.  It was filled with family and the best of all babies. Oh, how Foley and I loved babies!   They are humans in the purest form. Everything we do delights them. Their small, soft hands are perfect for petting.  And, they always dropped delicious food on the floor, which we happily scoffed up.  

When mommy had her knee surgeries, the grown children decided to rotate the holidays at their houses.  That was the death knell for the big family get-together. Once Thanksgiving is held at the kids’ homes, they began to wonder why they had to invite their brothers, sisters, and their obnoxious kids.  Gradually the holiday becomes just the immediate family until the mom can’t cook any longer, and then it gets split up between their children’s houses, and the pattern begins again. Years after their mother last lamented her kids not getting together at the holiday; the children realize why she despaired.

My parents look back fondly on their youth when they were crammed into their grandparents’ tiny houses, or, as they were called at the time, houses.  There were aunts and uncles wrapping their nieces and nephews in uncomfortable, hugs, and distributing wet kisses. The girls would either try to help in the kitchen, where their efforts were not fully appreciated, or find a bedroom where they drew, colored, played, and were reminded why cousins were better than friends.   The boys went into a crowded room where big men sat on small chairs or crammed onto couches to watch football. Every five minutes, one of the uncles would ask their nephews to get them a beer. There was a refrigerator in the basement stocked with Narragansetts. The boys would walk down the crooked, uneven, cellar stairs into the musty basement, take one more beer, then they could confidently carry from the stash, climb the stairs, and like a nervous dog playing fetch, bring the beer to the rapidly intoxicated uncles.  

Every year, precisely at halftime, dinner was served.  The kids sat on mismatched chairs around a card table. They had to remember to keep their feet on the floor.  If one inadvertently swung and connected with the wobbly table legs, everyone would be wearing soda. There was a hierarchy at the kids’ table.  The oldest was in charge, and they practiced for when they would host the holiday. This consisted of telling their younger peers not to kick, hit, reach, or talk with their mouths full. This was good practice for the younger children, especially those who would someday be eating holiday meals in prison. 

The adults gathered around a long table too small for the group.  Sometimes there would be two tables of uneven height covered by one table cloth.  A pair of unfortunate souls would have to sit where the tables met and find a place to rest their feet around the two table legs, both centered on their crotches while balancing their plates on the uneven surface. If your place was set with your back to the wall, a trip to the bathroom before sitting was necessary because you would be trapped until the last pie was cut and served.  

Dinner progressed slowly.   By the time the first dinner had completed their meal, the last was being served.  Seconds were forbidden until firsts were served.  
There was plenty of extra food unless you were trapped with your back to the wall.  Then you were reduced to personifying Oliver begging for more.

After the tryptophan kicked in, the kids were anxious to go home.  The adults gathered in the living room, traded stories of what happened the past year, and reminisced about growing up in “The Village.”  There were no phones, no computers, no Instagram: Photos were things you brought with you in a small, thick album. The spouses tried to join in, but with each story, they were more excluded until they retreated to the kitchen to nibble on leftovers and lament their designation as “the others.”  Sleeping kids would be jolted awake by an aunt with a camera and flashbulb emitting the equivalent of a nuclear flash. 'You were so cute sleeping," the photo-taking Aunt said. The question "why didn't you just let me lie here," would go unanswered.

Finally, the family went their separate ways.  The trip home was interrupted by a stop at the Fotomat to drop off the film with the hope that a couple of the shots would be good enough to be shared the following Thanksgiving.  

Today Thanksgivings are supposed to be better, as is everything in the modern world.  But, with the people so connected now, there are no new stories, no unknown occurrences, no pictures unseen, no mysteries photo of a guy in military uniform with his arm around your mom.  Now every picture is identified with hashtags and links to more pictures of the subject.

Just as I would like to go back to when we had a house full of babies, I think my parents would like to go back to those simpler, crowded Thanksgiving.

At least we have our memories.  

Monday, November 25, 2019

Monday Question

What are your chances of getting some turkey Thanksgiving?

POCKET:  We might get some deli turkey but my parents are going to my skin sister's so no food on the floor

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Bentley Sir Licks a Lot Comes to Rainbow Bridge

Earlier this month, a little white fuzzball full of kisses came bounding across Rainbow Bridge with tears in his eyes.  His name is Bently, but to his family, he is Sir Licks A Lot. The Bridge had finally claimed him after years of trying.

By the time Bently surrendered to the dark angels, his body was spent.  He had given every ounce of his devotion. His parents had seen him rally remarkably from the brink of passing before, but we only can recover so many times before the deficit becomes too steep to mount.

  When he was eight years old, Bentley suffered paralysis.  His doctor told his mom there was no hope. The vet suggested that Bently be sent to the Bridge.  When his mom looked at her dear boy, she saw a dog that was not ready to give up. She took Bently home and became his physical therapist.  Within six months, through determination and love, Bently was running again.

Bently would become paralyzed when his body failed again.  Once more, love and determination would triumph as Bently regained the ability to walk and then chased off the bad Bridge angels that were after him.

Following that, Bently was diagnosed with a herniated disc. When you walk the world on four legs, your back takes a pounding.  A dog who develops a spinal issue encounters unbearable pain. But Bently powered through his setback for longer than any human believed possible.  The little dog exhibited the heart of a lion.

Bentley had a special relationship with his mom. He was a trained service dog who helped her survive the harsh world.  It takes a lot of patience and training to become a service dog. I certainly couldn't have done it. The reward is you are never left behind, and you help your parents in ways we ordinary dogs only dream about.  You become like a part of your parent’s body. When you pass to the Bridge, the parent not only loses their best friend but their most trusted appendage. It is devastating.

When Bentley was overdue to arrive at the Bridge, the bad angels sent illness after illness to him, and he was able to fight them all off until finally, a simple cyst ended his mortal existence.  When it burst, Bently’s body began to shut down.

He lost the ability to walk, to control his bodily functions, and to stand. He stopped eating and drinking.   His parents tried everything. They spent a fortune on medications. But nothing could hold back the inevitable. On November 2, Bently went to the Bridge.

From the time he put his first paw on the Bridge, Bently enjoyed his pain-free existence.  He was suddenly overcome with an intense case of the zooms. He ran up the steps and past me, through the town square, around the theater, and back to us. His tongue was delightfully curled.  Before the end of the day, there would be time for sorrow, for longing, and regrets. There would be lessons taught about to visit his parents in their dreams, and in ghostly forms. There would be reunions and meetings with the other pets who were lucky enough to share a mom with Bentley’s mom. 

But for now, Bentley enjoyed his healthy body and being able to run faster than the wind itself once again.

Friday, November 22, 2019

Foley, Conan, and Canine Seal Heroes

As you are well aware, all dogs are heroes, and we save lives. Occasionally, a dogs’ bravery will be publicized, and the country revels in their achievement.  That happened in October when a dog helped the military capture one of the world’s most wanted terrorists, Abi Bakr al Baghdadi, known to his Isis friends as Kirk,  and throughout Syria as the host of the game show: The Qirsh is s_ˈɪ_ɹ_ɪ__ə.  

I am not a political dog.  Politics is frowned upon at the Bridge.  It is the hobgoblin of mortal minds, and we angels don't need it.  We are free, as long as we don't break the Big Guy's commandments. If we do, we are turned into minions and forced to do manual labor until we are back to thinking correctly.  The United States is still months away from establishing that type of order. 

I do take exception to the President, stating that Baghdadi died like a dog.  I had an image of US special forces entering Baghdadi's home and ordering him to stand, only to find he was unable to do so.  After a brief discussion with a doctor who accompanied them, the special forces wrapped Baghdadi in a blanket, held him tight, told him how much they loved him, then gave him a shot so he could slip away to the Bridge.  No, this guy blew himself up. No dog blows himself up, at least not on purpose. The way he died could not be any further from how we pass, except he was surrounded by his family, even if they were screaming and desperately trying to get away from him before he blew them up. 
These brave dogs, some of whose names are classified, for reasons I don’t quite understand because it’s not like people are going to look their name up in the phonebook and then seek retribution, took the lead in the raid.  They put their lives on the line to run down and corner the most wanted terrorist in the world. All dogs put aside their safety for the concerns of humans, but they took their fidelity to an entirely new level. 

These brave dogs, some of whose names are classified, for reasons I don’t quite understand because it’s not like people are going to look their name up in the phonebook and then seek retribution, took the lead in the raid.  They put their lives on the line to run down and corner the most wanted terrorist in the world. All dogs put aside their safety for the concerns of humans, but they took their fidelity to an entirely new level.

We dogs don’t want humans to know everything that we do for them.  If they found out that we are a superior life form that is here to protect them, they might stop feeding us and picking up our poop.  So let’s just keep it between us. Remember, if there is a terrorist in the neighborhood you need taken down, let your dog know. You will sleep better after the person dies like a terrorist and by blowing himself up.

Dying like a dog should not be an insult because we dogs are allowed to die with dignity.  Conversely, there should be no higher compliment than being told you lived like a dog. That means you were kind, brave, honorable, and put other humans first, just like a dog.  

Thursday, November 21, 2019

The Cats Attack Again

I am old enough to remember when Mommy and Daddy used to both get up at 5:30.  They had little time for Foley or me as they prepared for work. After we were fed, I was put in my crate and Foley on her red blanket, where we patiently waited for eight hours until Mommy got home.   When we heard the door open and smelled her, I barked my head off until I was let out of the crate. Foley laid on her blanket, not looking at Mommy until she was ready. Foley was the coolest. 

In 2011 Mommy retired, and a short time later, Daddy stopped working full time.  We rarely got up early again, but when we did, we knew it was trouble. Doctors always do bad things to people right after breakfast.  They like to be done with their torture before lunch.

Last Wednesday, we were up early.  I knew something was wrong when Mommy didn’t linger under the covers with River as I slowly, and thoroughly, did my outside business.  She showered quickly and without getting her hair wet. My parents skipped breakfast, but thankfully we had ours. On the previous Saturday, my parents went to a wedding, and our supper was delayed for two hours.  We could not stand another late meal. Truthfully, I was not much interested in eating when my parents were up early, and something was afoot. I am always too nervous, wondering what drama the day would bring. 

During their absence, I waited nervously in my crate while River paced the floor from the living room to the kitchen with momentary stops to look out the window and bark mournfully.  They were gone for four long hours. When they came home, Mommy had something over her eye. River and I knew why. The cats must have attacked my mom’s eyes in her sleep again, and she had to have another round of cat attack surgery.  The first one was two winters ago when the cats were successfully flushed from her eyes. Somehow they had wormed their way back in right under our noses.

We jumped around at her ankles while Daddy led Mommy to her chair and cautioned us not to trip her.  River noticed because Griffons are detail orientated, that she had the plastic patch over a different eye than she did after the last operation. We knew we would have to be very careful around her. We couldn’t be underfoot or beg to be picked up.  This was a tall order for a little dog.  

The scariest by-product of Mommy’s recovery from the cat attack is that Daddy has to take on more responsibilities around the house, which includes taking care of us.  Lord, help us all. We don’t know how it is possible, but whatever Daddy does, no matter how hard he tries, is always at least a little less enjoyable than how mommy does it. Our period of suffering has officially begun.

River and I are going to try and take good care of Mommy.  When she had her knee surgeries, Foley stayed with her the whole time and sat on her chest during physical therapy.  My sister was a great nurse and inspiration. The best River and I can do is to try not to piss her off. After a dozen years, I might as well start now.

And we are going to be on extra high alert for cats.  This is the last time they are attacking our mommy’s eyes.  

Gosh, even after building that darn wall, cats still cause trouble.  

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Monday, November 18, 2019

Monday Question

When was the last time you had an accident in the house?

Pocket:  We usually go out but we also have pee pads.  Sometimes I miss the pad, and sometimes I don't make it.  It probably has been a month.  River rarely pees inside, even with friends, but a few weeks ago muy parents had friends over, and River was in the living room.  She could not get anyone's attention and would have had to cross through the kitchen to reach the pads, so she went in the living room.  She was very sorry but forgiven.  

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Sweet Pea the Dog who Went From the Dump to Super Stardom

Four years ago, I got a desperate prayer request from a young pit bull. The pretty girl was begging to live. I was able to locate her by using the Global Prayer Search.

I was stunned by what I found.  The unfortunate pittie had deep wounds on her head and legs. She could barely stay conscious long enough to pray.     She told me that, since birth, she had been used as a bait dog, until she was too severely injured to continue, and the monsters who owned her left her to die in a dump in Camden New Jersey.  

I looked at her injuries and accessed her memories. Her life had been hell. I suggested that passing to the Bridge might be the better course for her.  She had suffered too much, and a heavenly reward awaited her. But, she begged me for one more chance at life.  She was put on the Earth to love a human, and, despite the despicable way she had been treated, she was sure if, given the opportunity, she could delight a family. I told her I would do what I could. Still, the injuries were severe, and I did not know anyone who would spend the money for the many surgeries and lengthy rehab the dog would need. Nor did I know who would want to take the chance that sharing their life with a dog who had lived such a violent existence would not end in tragedy.

I checked all the rescues in the area and found a woman named Kathy McGuire.  She had been rescuing dogs since she bought a house in the woods and learned that the previous owners had staged dog fights on the property.  The scales used to weigh the dogs were still there, as was a makeshift kennel behind the house, treadmills, and there were numerous bloodstains on the floor. There was an abundance of paperwork from which Mrs. McGuire learned of the terror that occurred at the house before they bought it.  On it was listed the names of the dogs, their owners, weight, win/loss records, breeding information, and other horrific details. From that point forward, she dedicated her life to saving dogs from hell the humans inflict on them.

I knew if this dog was going to be given a chance to live and to find a family to love, Kathy McGuire was the only one who could do it. 

I slipped into the animal control officers’ dreams, told him where this sweet pittie could be found, and once that was accomplished, how he could contact Kathy. It went swimmingly. The other rescuers thought it was best to put the poor dog down, but Kathy insisted she is saved.

Slowly, the dog, who Kathy named Sweet Pea, physically recovered.   The next step was to see if she, who knew nothing but the horror of life as a bait dog, could thrive as part of a family.  She adapted quicker than anyone could have anticipated. She is a gentle, playful pup. Those who encounter her are unable to detect any sign of her horrific past.

More people will get to know Sweet Pea, and learn her story when she is introduced as ASPCA dog of the year later this year. A large part of the award goes to Kathy, who started the Sweet Pea Fund to raise money for rescues and is still fighting the good fight against the evil forces who seek to hurt my precious brethren every day.

Kathy saved Sweet Pea, and the pittie has paid her back with a lifetime of love, and by being an inspiration for at-risk rescues everywhere. 

Most of all, Kathy made Sweet Pea’s dream of having a human to love come true. To Sweet Pea, that means more than all the awards in the world. 

Friday, November 15, 2019

The First Graduate of Foley U Gets a Job at a State's Attorney's Office

Last year, when I started my university, Foley U, everyone scoffed. The idea of a college that taught the law was just for dogs and cats, and could only be accessed while dreaming, was called foolish. I was told that even if dogs applied to attend when they got their degrees, they would never get jobs because law firms did not hire dogs.   But I have always been a little pup with dreams big.

More than two dozen students enrolled at my University.  While I never promised them a job after graduation, they were thrilled to study law. They, like me, were excited about being a dog attorney and representing our fellow canines 

 When the students graduated, they opened private practices to great success. But we all shared the same dream. Every member of the Fighting  Monsters from Foley U yearned to be part of a human law firm. For this, we were mocked. Everyone knows dogs can't work at a law firm.

My best student was a chocolate lab named Hatty. During mock dog court, he left the other students in the dust.  We all predicted great things for this legal genius, but none of us anticipated how high he would rise. 

I am delighted to report that last week, Hatty proved everyone wrong. He was sworn in by the Chicago State Attorney's office as their new litigator.    I could not be prouder. 
Hatty will be working 9-5 Monday through Friday with a few pee breaks and bone time threw in between. He has been assigned 200 new clients, which is a testament to how highly his new bosses think of him. He will specialize in cases involving victims of assault.  They want him to do what he does best: to be funny, kind, sweet and give lots of kisses. 

They had tried humans in his position, but they were not attentive enough to their clients.  Humans are easily distracted by their phones. Dogs have laser focus attention. Hatty's supervisors only have to keep their squirrel clients in another room, and nothing will distract Hatty from his duty.

While emotional support is a worthy duty, I am sure the DA will soon be seeking Hatty's advice in a number of different areas.  Dogs have a unique perspective on humans that will prove invaluable. We are also excellent lie detectors. People can hide a lot of things but not the smell that comes from their butts when they lie. One sniff and we can deduce if a person is telling the truth.  During colonial times, dogs thrived in this role. They were called in to sniff the butts of spies to see if they were truthful. If we shook our heads, someone was swinging. George Washington said we were his most reliable soldiers. Spies knew their butts could betray them.   It is where the phrase "cover your ass" originated. 

When the winning percentage for the Chicago State Attorney's office rises, all law firms will want to hire dogs. Because of my university, they will be plenty of qualified candidates.  And we need more. If you are a mortal dog, or cat, as we expand our horizons looking for an exciting career in the justice field, then apply to Foley U now.

You do not want to be left behind during the accession of the dog attorneys. The law will never be the same.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

River Becomes a Common Night Walker

The most horrific day of the year has passed, but the after-effects will last until next spring.  The day is like a blizzard that arrives the same day every year. You know it is coming, you try to prepare for it, but it still shatters your life, leaving it in tatters.  It is the 23 hour day. It is the day the Earth tips on its axis. It is the day when we are forced to eat an hour later. It makes the night come earlier. It makes humans grumble.   They call it either “return to standard time,” or “daylight savings time end.” Any day with standard and end, it is bound to suck.  

Pocket and I do enjoy our daily walks. They have become more essential with my weight gain, which, I can now admit, was done for a movie role. Look for Benji Gets His Ass Kicked By a Griffon later this year. 

Now that the role is over, I need some road work to lose the extra weight. Our schedule makes the time before supper optimum for walking. Mommy is not as mobile as she used to be, so she leaves the exercising to Daddy and us little dogs. When she makes supper, we go for our daily constitutional. Now, thanks to the big Standard Time lobby in Washington, we have to walk in the dark.

In the summer months we walk near the old barn, and the big field in front of our development but it is too dark in standard time. Instead, we take one trip around our quiet block

My Dad doesn’t mind walking with us in the dark. When it is light, we bark at everything we see. We also live near a lot of people who like to walk, and they are always jamming up the road.  When we see someone, Pocket, I bark like mad, hoping to get their attention.

There are a lot of seniors where we live, and like reverse vampires, they can’t go out in the dark, so we don’t see anyone walking at night. There are also no dogs tied outside to bark at us and interrupt the peaceful enjoyment of our walk.

The biggest fear, when you are a nightwalker, is getting hit by a careless driver.  When we go out at 5:30, most of the residents have retired for the evening, and those who are driving move so slowly we could beat them in a 50-yard dash. 

Daddy always has the flashlight on his phone illuminated, so we walk with a spotlight on us like we are starlets. It helps him watch over his two lovely ladies, it keeps us from stepping on anything sharp, and it is invaluable in finding our poop buried in colorful leaves.

If you in our neighborhood just after dusk, and you see two cute starlets walking on a leash, give them a wide berth because they are your two favorite small dogs on their evening constitutional.   

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Beat This Caption

"What a bad day.  My parents are out, I have been waiting for them at the window, and Bruce has been on my ass all day long.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Monday Question.

Do you wear a jacket in the winter?

Pocket:  We don't wear one for the cold but we wear one for the wet.  We both have plaid ones for the rain and we have blue and black parkas for the snow.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Tweedles Arrives At Rainbow Bridge

When I came to live with my parents, I had the most wonderful big sister named Blake. She was a little Shih Tzu, but she was a giant to me. Blake taught me so much about my parents and how to be a good dog.   I don't know if I would have reached the heights I have without Blake blazing a trail to me.

I remember that terrible morning when Blake had her first seizure. It was like something had possessed her.  One minute I was snuggled up with my trusted big sis; the next, her body was thrashing, and she didn't know who I was. Even before I knew a seizure was a symptom of the disease that would send her to the Bridge, I hated it.

It took a long time for my parents to determine what caused her seizures. When they finally did, remember the sad word inoperable was used. A short time after that, Blake went to the Bridge, and I was thrust into the role of the lead dog.

This year my sweet friend from the Blogger world, Tweedles, an adorable 13-year-old pug, began to have seizures. She was rushed to the vet where her parents learned that Tweedles’ liver numbers were high and prognosis poor. She was given medication, and prayers by the thousands began to or into the Bridge for her. We had to assign a dozen angels to answer them.

The medication helped Tweedles, but it could not keep the seizure monster at bay.

Tweedles had countless fans who read her blog. Each post was accompanied by a picture of cute Tweedles openly embracing life.  Weary humans counted on Tweedle's postings for a daily smile. Her health became paramount to them. 

Tweedles’ health did not improve; it just held steady, which was the best her parents could hope for. Each seizure took a terrible toll on our friend.

As autumn spread over the land, Tweedles’ heartbeats began to dwindle. Her parents tried to enjoy their last fleeting days with their love bug, and not worry or be sad, but that was impossible. Worry and sadness always will work its way in.

Finally, Tweedles’ last heartbeat sounded, and her parents let their little girl go. Tweedles hated leaving her loving parents. She solemnly crossed the Bridge and climbed the long stairway to Hobo’s Landing, where she would be sworn in.  But she could not stop the patented Tweedle smile from flashing across her face. She had left the seizure monster, who had haunted her every moment and taken over her life, behind The relief filled her with joy. It was over.

She ran up the steps without pain or exhaustion for the first time in years. Tears came to Tweedles’ eyes when she saw all the friends who had preceded her to the Bridge gather around and cover her with  1,000 hugs and kisses.

I gave Tweedles the angel oath; then, we held a huge welcoming banquet for her.  After that, she immediately began her angel training. She will be visiting her parents soon. It is a frustrating time to be an angel. In the winter, we can’t use butterfly bodies to see our loved ones. But I know she will visit her parents in their dreams,  or as a ghost, and maybe even an old crow or pigeon if the mood strikes. Her parents need to remember to treat every winged creature with care; it could be their best her coming to check upon them.

It won’t be enough for her parents. It never is. But if they believe that she is with them with all their might, they might get a fleeting glimpse of her just out of the corner of their eye.

If they could see her happy and healthy, it would aid them as they travel the dark road of grief.

We angels have all lead our parents out of the grief's dark road.  I know Tweedles will too. Her parents need to listen for the almost indiscernible sounds of her paws on the ground and follow it. She will lead them into the light.

Friday, November 8, 2019

Foley Reports About the First Time Dog and Men Came Together

There have been two constants since man and dog first bonded. One is for the love they share.  The other is poop.

Poop first brought man and dog together.  The initial moment that a man partnered with a dog was in the Neanderthal age.  Things were not very hygienic then. If a man had to poop, he did. This particular man, Robert, lived next door to someone who became angry when Robert pooped on his lawn.  "Wild animals poop on your lawn all the time," Robert said, defending himself.

"It's different when it's a wild animal," the neighbor said. "They don't know better."

Robert thought this was rather discriminatory.  He went to see Phil, his Neanderthal lawyer. Robert wanted Phil to file a rock, stating that the freedom to poop was his birthright.  Philip rejected his request. First, because filling meant drawing the action on a rock, then throwing it at the defendant's head. If you hit the defendant in the head, you won.  If you missed you lost. If you hit him in the balls, it was a hung jury. Phil gave Robert a list of reasons why he would not hurl a rock, without letting on the true reason. He had been gored in the shoulder by an angry moose and couldn't throw a rock five feet. 

Robert was despondent. What he didn't share, even with his lawyer, was that he had a sensitive bowel. Such an admission could lead to him being banned from the tribe and made to live in the hinterlands. He had no more control over his bowels then he did of his wife, who went out every night to the swamp to ride the hippo. 

The truth was that the world was becoming a more civilized place.  People were no longer pooping on lawns. They were pooping in the middle of the street.  When the need to go hit Robert, he didn't have time to cross the road he just pooped.  

Robert sat, looking at the sunset lamenting his fate.  A wolf joined him and asked what was wrong. Robert understood the wolf.  It was not that wolves were smarter; then, people understood their barks because it was close to how humans spoke.

Robert told him about his poop situation.  The wolf, Larry, suggested that they travel together.  Whenever Robert had to poop, Larry would squat next to him and poop too.  If an angry cave owner came out, Robert could tell the property owner that Larry was the pooper, and it was alright because animals had full pooping privileges.

Robert was intrigued by the idea.  He and Larry walked by the cantankerous neighbor's house.  Robert did his business on the lawn, and Larry squatted in back of him doing the same on top of Larry's.   When the neighbor came outside to complain, Robert said the offending poop came from Larry. The man looked at the wolf.  “Well, if it's the wolf's," he said sheepishly and went inside. 

Robert bragged to his incontinent friends about the successful endeavor, and soon, other humans were discarding the loin diaper and getting a dog.  These partnerships spread across the land until dogs and men became inseparable. 

So, the next time you encounter a nasty neighbor who does not want a dog popping in his lawn, thank him. It is because of his ancestors that man and dog came together.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Pocket Gets Stuck Between a Buggy and a Hard Place

Last Wednesday, something very frightening happened to me, and it was because my parents can’t change a lightbulb. 

Several years ago, my parents had a ceiling light installed over their chairs in the living room because people of a certain age need a lot of light.  It was pretty. It was comprised of three small lights, snuggly placed in three globes. It kept our home a clean and well-lit place.

Eventually, one of the tiny light bulbs blew.  Daddy got out the step ladder and climbed up to change it.  He figured it would be easier if he removed the globe then to try and get his fingers in the small place between it and the bulb.  He tried unscrewing the globe with no luck. He then gave it a good Yankee tug. The globe, along with the fixture that held the globe in place, came down. A small ring, a vital part of the assembly, had broken.  My parents had to order and new one and wait three weeks for the part to arrive. 

When it arrived, Daddy had to put the part inside the smallest and deepest part of the fixture, which was designed facing downward, adding gravity to the degree of difficulty. Luckily Daddy has little hands.  (Note: He says that the myth isn’t true, and “it” is normal-sized." Probably because he is saying that while holding it in his tiny doll hands.) He was able to get all the pieces inside the fixture, attach the globe, and then, after several tries, get the light into the socket.  Then he realized he would have to screw the bulb in, which could only be accomplished by putting his thumb on the glass part of the bulb, twisting it, and hoping the bulb would twist with it and would hold.

For three years, Daddy struggled screwing in the light bulbs.  Sometimes it would take him a half an hour to do one bulb. Late last year, when a light blew, my parents decided to let all three go out, and then replace the entire unit.   The second blew in January. The third light bulb held on like Sean Spicer on Dancing with the Stars. So many times, my parents thought it would go out, but for a record ten months, it stayed on. My parents finally decided to give in and replace it before Sean was blown out 

On Wednesday, a man came in to take down the old light fixture and put it in the new one.  At first, we were placed in the bathroom. When Mommy needed to use the sit-down water bowl, Daddy got our buggy and put us inside.  As we always do in our buggy, we were good girls and waited patiently. After a half-hour, the man left without giving us a chance to sniff.

I was prepared to be removed from the stroller, but instead, my parents began cleaning up the work product. I decided I had enough buggy time.  There was a small opening between the front and back sections of the stroller. During the garden time, I stick my head out until one of my parents tells me to settle down.

But, I had grown impatient.  I stuck my head out and then pushed with my back legs.  I got half-way out, with my rib cage and above on the outside, and the rest stuck on the inside.  The buggy began to squeeze me, and I started to wheeze excitedly.

My parents rushed into the kitchen and saw me stuck.  Daddy tried to pull, but my back in, but my hind end did not cooperate.  Mommy took over. She said it was just like giving birth. She eased me out of the kennel, and I was reborn.  Then I saw the afterbirth:

I wheezed for a minute and then was as good as new.  Now I am breathing easily, and our living room is lit up like someone is shooting a Netflix movie.

I can’t help thinking none of this would have occurred if someone had been able to screw in a light bulb.  

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Beat This Caption

"Excuse me, coach.  What were you saying about me not being good enough to make the team?"

Monday, November 4, 2019

Monday Question

What breeds of dogs or cats have your Mommy and Daddy owned?  
Pocket:  Mommy and Daddy together have lived with a Shih Tzu, Maltese, Papillon, Yorkie-Poo, Brussels Griffon and a Siamese.

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Geordie Comes to Rainbow Bridge

There was a lot of rain that fell over the east coast in the days before Halloween.  Meteorologists used several maps, computer modules, and Doppler radar to explain this phenomenon.  I knew the real reason. My exceptional friend Geordie crossed Rainbow Bridge this week, and there were so many tear clouds formed by those who wept over his passing that the clouds got backed up, and the rain fell on the mortal side too.

Geordie's passing was as exceptional as his life.  He had been diagnosed with cancer two years ago and given a short amount of time before he was scheduled to leave for the immortal side.  His mom was told to take him home and make him comfortable.  
Geordie’s momma Leslie is a painter who has created stunning portraits of family dogs.  Momma Leslie knows our souls, which is why she creates such lovely paintings. Geordie inspired her to draw him as he encountered the world, then created books from them, the first one being A Good Mom is a Tired MomAfter his brother Toby, who Geordie labeled the usurper joined the pack, Momma Leslie included him in her second book Poopitier. Her latest Dream Our World depicted Geordie and Toby visiting a museum featuring some of civilization's masterpieces, all of which had been redone to insert her duo, and other dogs, as the subjects of the paintings.  The book stands as a beautiful tribute to the pup whose she nicknamed Bitey Dog( and for whom she named her blog). Mama Leslie depicted everything that made Geordie special as he looked after his troublesome little brother with patience, kindness, sweetness, empathy, and good humor attributes that Geordie showed to his friends daily.

That is why I lobbied for Geordie to get extra heartbeats.  If a friend saw a comment from Geordie, it was sure to be fun, charming, wise, kind, and humorous.  The mortal world needed more Geordie. The Guild of Dogs agreed and gave Geordie six more months.  

Those six months passed in a flash.  The dark angels were sent to summon Geordie to the Bridge. They returned without him, quite flustered.  "He refused," a bewildered dark angel said.

Barghest, the angel in charge of incoming pups was furious. "He can't say no!" Barghest barked.   He decided he would have to do it himself.

He went into Geordie's dreams.  The oversized dog with his huge fangs and claws was terrifying. "I command you to surrender and come to Rainbow Bridge," Barghest roared.

"No, thank you," Geordie said.

"You don't have an option," Barghest screamed.  "You have to come with me.'
Mama Leslie had always thought of Geordie as a strong-willed dog, but she had no idea how true that was. "You can't make me,”  Geordie said. "You're a ghost. I can put my hand right through you." Then, to Barghest's chagrin, he did.

"This will not stand!" Barghest yelled.  "When I am done with you, then you will be begging to go to the Bridge!". Then he disappeared.

Barghest sent plague after plague to Geordie, including indigestion, trouble breathing, heartburn, lack of appetite, and loss of balance. Geordie had his bad days when his mom considered aiding him on his final journey, but then he would wrestle these demons into submission, ravishingly eat his food, and demand a long walk.  Barghest could only shake his head in admiration.

Barghest did this several times during the next year, and a half and Geordie defeated all the plagues thrown at him.  I was proud but knew his continuing living in a body wracked with cancer was problematic. Geordie could not live forever despite what he believed.

The Guild of Dogs asked me to meet with them over the "Geordie" problem.  I suggested they let me talk to him.

I entered his dreams, and we chatted like two close friends. I brought up how much I enjoyed his mom's last name book about the museum.  Then I told him there was no place like that in the Doggyspace village where we lived. "I sure would like to have a museum there," I said.  "I just don't know how to do it."

Immediately Geordie rattled off a dozen ideas he had for the museum.  "We could use someone like you," I said.

Geordie contemplated the idea.  "Do you think I could do it?" he asked.  I told him I was sure he could. To keep up appearances, I told him he should apply for the job.  Secretly it was his.

I convinced The Guild of Dogs to build Geordie a museum and let him select whatever he wanted to put inside it.  They agreed eager to solve the Geordie problem. I also knew it was suitable for my friend. He was growing tired of all the battles. He needed a rest and a fresh challenge.

I sent a little orange butterfly to let Geordie know he had the position as curator of the Rainbow Bridge museum. He sent one back, accepting the appointment. He had only one request. He wanted to be able to communicate with the mortal side as I did. Since the mortal side always needs some Geordie happily agreed.

That night he told his mom and Toby his decision. While the news saddened his mom, she agreed it was for the best. Before he left, Geordie told Toby he would always be watching over him like the elf on the shelf and always to be a good boy.   Toby gave his brother a big hug. Then Geordie lay down and went to sleep. When he awoke, his body had been rejuvenated by The River of Life. He climbed the hill and entered his museum.

Since his arrival, Geordie has been busy selecting pieces for the museum, when he hasn't been visiting his mom or watching over Toby.  The opening is on Saturday night, and everyone is invited. If you are a mortal and wish to attend, then let the last thing you think of Saturday night before sleep be Geordie, and you will be transported to the event in your dreams.    Don't expect to see any of the classics. Every painting on display is a new immortal world works by Van Gogh, Rembrandt, Monet, Pollock, Da Vinci, Picasso, Warhol, and many more. Shorn of the conventions of mortal life, the paintings are breathtaking.

 And don't forget to say hello to the most beautiful treasure there, the curator Geordie, who is truly a masterpiece.

Friday, November 1, 2019

A Final Visit

Sometimes an angel’s duties are sad; other times, they are happy, and sometimes they are both. 
I got a prayer request this week that moved me so much I had to do everything I could to answer it in the affirmative.  The prayer came from a man named John Vincent. He is a 69-year-old Vietnam veteran who had recently gone into hospice care.  When he did, he was forced to part with Patch, his six-year-old terrier mix.   

I was first made aware of this situation by Patch, himself.  The poor baby knew his dad was getting sick, and like all dogs, he believed what he needed the most was Patch taking care of him.  Sadly, the doctors felt otherwise. With no family to provide for Mr. Vincent, he had to enter hospice care, and poor Patch went into a shelter.  That is why Patch contacted me. He desperately wanted to go back home. I had to break the sad news to Patch that his prayer could not be granted.  I promised I would do everything in my power to find him a new home. But, we both knew it would not be the same.

Frankly, doing that sucked the big one.  I was concentrating on finding Patch a home that he deserved when I got a second prayer.  This was from Mr. Vincent. He knew his heartbeats were ending, and all he wanted was one more day with his best friend, and his only family member:  Patch. 

Luckily, this is the type of prayer request that humans want to see fulfilled.  When I went into the dreams of Amy Neal, the palliative care worker at the hospice, I found a mind already working hard to reunite Patch and Mr. Vincent.  I was heartened to learn that the wheels were in motion, and I did not have to make a herculean effort to make it happen, but I still had a duty to see it come to fruition.

Patch had been placed with the Albuquerque Animal Welfare, where every worker had fallen in love with the little terrier mix.  They were working on finding Patch a home, and there were several applicants until then I knew nothing would be better for him than to snuggle with his dad. Thanks to the good people at the hospice and the rescue that snuggle was immanent.    

When Patch was brought into the hospice, his nose told him this is where his dad was.  When Patch saw Mr. Vincent in the hospital bed, he began to do the doggy wiggle, the need to provide comfort to the man who cared for him all his life was overwhelming.  Patch's dad’s tender hand on his pup's head stopped the desperate squirms. Patch crawled up his dad’s chest and navigated the tubes to give him sweet licks

Patch then snuggled down next to his dad.  They spent one more day together doing what dogs and their parents do best, blissfully nothing.  Intermittently Mr. Vincent would lift Patch up to his chest and squeeze him. The broad smile never left Patchs’ face.  He knew he had to go, that this wasn’t his new home, but he enjoyed every single second of his reunion. That is one significant advantage we dogs have over humans.  We may not live as long, but time does move slower for us, and we can savor every moment. 

When it came time for Patch to go home, we left them alone to say their final goodbyes.  I was outside the room but could hear the sound of hearts breaking. Then Patch was returned to the shelter.  
I tried to lie next to Mr. Vincent.  People closer to the end can sense angels.  I don’t know if I helped Mr. Vincent. I was no substitute for Patch, but I do hope I helped. 

Mr. Vincent will be Patch's angel soon, and Patch will be in a new home. Then Mr. Vincent will visit Patch in his dreams, and they can just snuggle together until the day comes when they can so for eternity. 

Wordless Wednesday